Cleaning Enhancements and Requirements: Questions and answers

Employees will need to clean workspaces 

Following the Flashes Safe Seven principles, employees, depending on their role, will be required to clean and sanitize spaces during the day. Building curators will designate an individual(s) to clean spaces shared among multiple offices such as break rooms, copy rooms, supply rooms within an office suite, reception counters, and other areas not accessible to the general public. Custodial staff will clean spaces like waiting rooms, seating areas in the corridors, conference rooms, bathrooms or other areas accessible by the general public.  Classrooms will be cleaned on an enhanced schedule. Faculty will clean instructor space in the classroom (podium, keyboard, table, etc.) and their office. Units will have cleaning supplies available for employee use. Employees should take personal items home to facilitate regular cleaning of their workspace.  If additional cleaning is needed, please notify your supervisor.  Note: University Facilities Management (UFM) custodial staff have been methodically cleaning buildings, classrooms and offices, including carpeting. All offices have been cleaned and are ready for use. Horizontal surfaces that contain work or personal items that require moving before cleaning, should be cleaned by the employee before use. 

Why am I being asked to clean my workspace with a microfiber towel?  

We are using microfiber towels because they are much more effective in controlling the spread of viruses and bacteria than other types of cloths or paper towels. In addition, per university public health experts, microfiber towels also disinfect the hands during use. Microfiber towels also provide a more sustainable option than paper towels. Microfiber towels will be collected and laundered daily by the custodial staff and/or contracted services. Upon collection of towels for laundering, the supply will be replenished.

Can shared laptops be used if we disinfect them when distributing? 

The Flashes Safe Seven states: All employees will be required to clean and sanitize their workspaces and common spaces throughout the day, between shifts and at the close of each day. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones and keyboards. 

How do I order cleaning supplies for the classrooms in my college?  

You do not need to place an order for cleaning supplies for the classrooms in your college. University Facilities Management (UFM) and custodial staff at the Regional Campuses and the College of Podiatric Medicine will provide the surface disinfectant for each classroom and replenish them as needed. 

Are paper towels better to dry your hands with than air hand dryers? 

The CDC recommends drying by either paper towels or air dryers. Using either method, it is recommended that hands be dried thoroughly to reduce the spread of contamination. 

What is the difference between hand sanitizers that are on the market? 

The CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand rub with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol in healthcare settings. Unless hands are visibly soiled, an alcohol-based hand rub is preferred over soap and water in most clinical situations due to evidence of better compliance compared to soap and water. Hand rubs are generally less irritating to hands and are effective in the absence of a sink.

Due to increased sales of isopropyl alcohol-based sanitizers, making them hard to find, most hand sanitizers are ethyl alcohol based, which is the same alcohol used for consumption. Buyer beware, as percentages can vary. It is important to check the label.

Recently, hand sanitizers have made their way to the market with methanol, a toxic substance that can be absorbed through the skin. The Food and Drug Administration has published a list of banned hand sanitizers.  

What additional changes will be made to restrooms and Classrooms?  

Restrooms and classrooms will be deep cleaned twice daily by custodial staff using Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants for killing the COVID-19 virus. Custodians will also clean touch points frequently throughout their shifts. In addition to enhanced cleaning, public/shared restrooms at all campuses/locations will be provided with signage and foot handles for the entrance door.  

How will bathrooms be cleaned? 

Kent State has committed to no reduction in custodial staffing for Fiscal Year 2021. One adjustment is that students in residence halls with private bathrooms will clean their own bathrooms this fall. Thus, 10 custodians will be transferred from Residence Services to E&G buildings to help with enhanced cleaning activities. In addition, 25 part-time students are being hired to help with enhanced cleaning. Enhanced cleaning is cleaning the restrooms and classrooms twice daily, Monday-Friday. The first restroom cleaning is traditional cleaning with Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants for killing the COVID-19 virus. The second cleaning is with an electrostatic ionizing machine, again with an EPA-approved disinfectant for killing the COVID-19 virus. Custodians will also wipe touch points frequently throughout their shifts. 
 
We are supplying EPA-approved surface disinfectants for each classroom to enable the instructor to clean the teaching station and students to clean their desks.  

How often are public spaces (water fountains, bathrooms, general space, etc.) being cleaned?  

Water fountains have been turned off. Water bottle fill stations are still active and are cleaned daily. See above for cleaning frequencies.